How to Help

It is amazing to watch the sheer outpouring of help for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I have had a lot of people ask me if I know of anything local to help out, so I figured I would compile a master list of everything I have done to help, and would also like to do – fathead design, the company I work for, just offered up a workspace to a designer in need this morning. I also offered the spare room in my house. If you work in the design industry, this is a great way to help out.

CraftersUnited – Hundreds of crafty people from all over are donating goods for sale, and all proceeds are going to the Red Cross. They raised over $12,000 in 72 hours. My sister and I just sent in some stuff last night, but you don’t need to be crafty yourself. You can also support by buying goodies in the storefront for all the donated goodies. Stuff from CutieCooties should be available shortly, so if you have ever wanted to buy any of my crafty wares, now is the time.

Lincoln Park Zoo is offering a home to the displaced animals from Audubon Zoo. They need donations to help care for the influx of animals. You can donate here.

The craigslist volunteer section also has constant updates for ways to help locally. Keep an eye out for scams, because people are selfish and heartless pricks.

The Sun Times has a list of do and do-not’s on their website, because you know some jackass is going to try to profit from horrific human disaster


  • Large, brand-name charities that have vast experience with natural disasters.
  • Look to organizations that dealt successfully with handling tsunami relief.


  • Don’t donate money to anyone who calls on the phone.
  • Don’t give cash to anyone.
  • Don’t donate money to someone who says they’ll send someone over to collect.
  • Stay away from buckets at the convenience store.
  • Stay away from benefits that spend a portion of the money on entertainment rather than giving 100 percent to the cause.
  • If you know of more, especially drop places for clothing, water, and nonperishables locally for survivors that are arriving in Illinois, please le t me know in the comments and I will add to this list.

    6 Comments so far

    1. Alana (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 10:00 am
    2. steven (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 10:37 am

      Folks should check with their employers…if it hasn’t been set up already, ask your employer to set up a fund and to match employee donations.

    3. Alana (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 11:02 am

      Excellent suggestion Steven. Mine *just* sent out notice. Pearson will match any donations made by their employees.

    4. steven (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 11:12 am

      Thanks, Alana. I’m really proud of the effort our authors have put forward since the hurricane struck. Lots of good folks on the Metblog sites.

    5. Meagan (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 1:40 pm

      Special Appeal to Help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

      You’ve seen the horrifying images and, like many Americans, have struggled to truly grasp the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The mass exodus of its victims is now underway, and every major metropolitan area is working hard to prepare to receive them with open arms and open hearts. At least 12,000 evacuees are expected in Illinois and many are en route or here now.

      Our Fund Managers at over 40 social service agencies throughout the Chicago area are requesting additional funds to provide our Crisis Solution and Self-Sufficiency Grants to Katrina victims. We need your help so that we can meet these requests today. Please help us help the victims of Katrina that are now on our doorstep, as well as other Chicagoans in need.

      Special requests from the victims of Hurricane Katrina include assistance with the following:

      Beds, bedding, household appliances and other home items

      School uniforms and school supplies

      Cab coupons and public transportation cards for job searches and school

      Short-term rental assistance and support for people enrolling in local job training and job placement programs

      The Emergency Fund has provided immediate, flexible financial assistance for rent, utilities, medicine, clothing, and other needs that cannot be met through any other resource for over 30 years. Our funds are made available at partner agencies throughout the Chicago area, including Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, Lutheran Child and Family Services, Chicago Urban League, and The Cara Program. Payments are always made to a landlord, utility company or other service provider on behalf of clients in need.

      Generous support from our special events, board members and others cover all of our administrative expenses, so we can ensure that 100% of your donation will go directly to our Financial Assistance Program costs.

      Please give online at, or call 312-379-0301 to discuss your gift further. Your support is desperately needed now and in the coming months.

      Thank you.

    6. debra mance (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 4:11 pm

      I am a hair stylist and I and some of my fellow hairstylist would like to donate some of our time to aid in creating some since of normalsy in the lives of our men women and children.We would like to do their hair but we do not have a way of getting this done. It would be necessary for the people to come to us in our various shops therefore I would need to be in contact with the individual shelters to see if this could be arranged. We would donate maybe a day a week for a specific period of time. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

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